Slice of Life #15- Where I’m From

I spent part of my day planning my next unit of study, which I am very excited about.  (More about that later!)  This unit includes our poetry study of George Ella Lyons’ “Where I’m From”.  I’ve been doing our version of these poems since I began teaching and it’s always an amazing experience.  I think Paul Hankins first introduced me to George Ella Lyons and I am so grateful that he did.  So in the next few weeks we will be writing our poems in class, but I’ve included my poem below.

Where I’m From
I am from books,
from Pepsi and the NY Post
I am from hills and grass
(green, soft and smelling like summer).
I am from the milkweed,
the hibiscus brought inside during winter
(an orange and pink sunset growing toward the sun no matter the season).

I’m from “taking a ride” and always being late,
From Jane and Tim.
I’m from the fast talkers and fast walkers,
From eating your crusts and haunted old roads.
I’m from Psalm 23, bagpipes playing hymns, and rosary beads.

I’m from Ireland and Scotland,
Grandmother macaroni and breakfast for dinner.
From the Little Grandfather, a professional football player who jumped
ship in the United Stateswhen sailing as a Merchant Marine,
from Nanny, following Papa around the country during his naval years, raising a son with a husband fighting in a great war.

I am from the photo albums and boxes of pictures in the upstairs closet, telling the stories of a loud, large, and loving family.
I am from dog-eared baby books and school pictures hung over the fireplace

I am from love.

3 Responses

  1. I’m so glad that you shared this. I just read your poem along with the one by George Ella Lyon and between them both I am eager to start working on one myself. Thank you! It’s a great prompt. I’m sure your students will enjoy the unit.

  2. George Ella Lyon was recently named Poet Laureate of Kentucky, as well.

  3. Okay, I am inspired! And, please tell me. How did you go about this poem? You said you’ve been writing this kind of poem since you began teaching. What’s the secret? I am inspired but I need to take the plunge.

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